**Delegation Fought to Increase Opioid Response Funding by 1000% Over the Last Two Years**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, led Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) in a letter to President Donald Trump, calling on him to continue funding for the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program in his budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2021. The SOR grant program has been a critical tool for New Hampshire and other states on the frontlines of the substance use disorder crisis. The delegation also urged the President to continue the 15 percent set-aside for hardest hit states, which has helped states deeply impacted like New Hampshire. In government funding legislation signed into law last month, Senator Shaheen successfully included a new provision based on a key component of her legislation that provides flexibility for treatment providers to use SOR grant dollars to help patients suffering from methamphetamine and cocaine dependency, in addition to opioid use disorders.
In their letter, the delegation wrote, “These grants provide vital resources to states like New Hampshire, where treatment providers, first responders and families are working hand-in-hand to turn the tide of the substance use disorder epidemic facing our state and this country. Our success in meeting the challenge of this crisis is only possible if we continue to commit resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery for Americans struggling with substance misuse.”
The New Hampshire delegation has prioritized efforts in Congress to combat the substance use disorder epidemic. Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate a bipartisan agreement in 2018 that resulted in a large national increase in opioid treatment funding through the SOR grant program over two years. They also fought to include the funding set-aside for states with the highest mortality rates. These efforts led to a 1000% increase in federal treatment and prevention funding for New Hampshire.
The delegation’s letter continued, “The SOR grant program is a critical resource for New Hampshire, which has one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation. New Hampshire is using these dollars to increase access to life-saving Naloxone and expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). However, success in our state and so many other communities requires a sustained multi-year commitment of resources. We urge you to support that sustained commitment in your budget proposal this year.”
The delegation closed their letter by reiterating the urgent need for the administration to work together with Congress to ensure opioid response efforts remain a top policy priority.
The letter can be read in full here.